NASA Reveals Its 2022 Photographers of the Year

Official NASA Portrait of astronaut Tom Marshburn

First place, Portraits: Josh Valcarcel – Johnson Space Center
Official NASA Portrait of astronaut Tom Marshburn wearing the Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit in Building 8’s Photo Studio at the Johnson Space Center, July 19, 2021.

While the public soaks in the triumph that is the first images of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA reminds us that the agency also takes some incredible imagery right here on Earth. The 2022 NASA Photographer of the Year celebrates the hard work of the space agency's photographers and the winners were announced in a tweet by the NASA Headquarters Photo Department.

The winning images were divided into four categories—Portraits, People, Documentation, and Places. Photographer Josh Valcarcel of the Johnson Space Center topped the Portraits category for his evocative black and white photo of astronaut Tom Marshburn. Norah Moran, who appears several times on the list, won the Documentation category for her look at test subjects exploring NASA's Rock Yard.

The winning photographers play a fundamental role in helping NASA communicate its mission and progress by giving us a glimpse behind the curtain. By almost entirely focusing on the people who make the magic happen, the photos are a reminder of the incredible abilities that humans possess and the achievements they can make happen.

Take a look at a selection of the winners below and learn more about the people and places that help NASA operate.

NASA revealed its 2022 Photographers of the Year.

The winners and finalists give the public a look at life behind the curtain of the space agency.

2022 NASA Photographer of the Year

First place, Documentation: Norah Moran – Johnson Space Center
Test subjects Kelsey Young and Tess Caswell evaluate lunar field geology tasks as part of the Exploration Extravehicular Activity (xEVA) night operations development tests conducted at Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard.

2022 NASA Photographer of the Year

Second place, Places: Norah Moran – Johnson Space Center
xEMU Antenna testing being performed in the B14 Anechoic Chamber to inspect MLI keep out zones for the antennas. The xEMU Test article is named xGUS, the successor to the EMU Test Article also named GUS (named after Gus Grissom and his iconic silver spacesuit). Image taken from where “horn” is located that sends out radio frequency signals for test.

Engineering Technician Ryan Fischer torques the Force Gauge Ring

First place, People: Denny Henry – Goddard Space Flight Center
Engineering Technician Ryan Fischer torques the Force Gauge Ring on to the vibe table in preparation for vibration testing of the PACE spacecraft bus at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland on June 16th, 2021.

United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angel

First place, Places: Dominic Hart
The Blue Angels crew tour the inlet of the NFAC’s 80-by-120-foot wind tunnel test section in building N221.

NASA astronaut Jonny Kim wearing a high-altitude pressure suit

Second place, Portraits: Norah Moran – Johnson Space Center
NASA astronaut Jonny Kim wearing a high-altitude pressure suit worn in the WB-57 aircraft, which is capable of flying at altitudes over 60,000 feet.

Selfie of NASA Pilot Jim Ross

Third place, People: Jim Ross
F-15 N897NA Aerials

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test

Third place, Places: Bill Ingalls
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, is seen during sunrise, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. The mission was built and is managed by the Johns Hopkins APL for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

2022 NASA Photographer of the Year

Third place, Documentation: Bill Stafford, NASA-JSC HOUSTON T.
Photographic support and coverage of night field evaluation. EVA Test #1

NASA Headquarters Photo Department: Twitter | Flickr

All images via NASA.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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